Polian: Colts Free Agency Update

Colts President Bill Polian responded to questions from the media on Saturday at the NFL Combine regarding Edgerrin James, Mike Vanderjagt and other key free agents.

Colts President Bill Polian met with the media at the NFL Combine on Saturday afternoon and addressed some important offseason player personnel questions.

When asked about the challenge of having all three starting linebackers -- Cato June, Gary Brackett, and David Thornton -- on the verge of entering free agency, Polian said, "We're going to put restricted offers on them that we think will be good enough to retain them.

"Hopefully they get an offer that you can match, or because of the compensation involved they don't get an offer period."

Attention then turned to what the market might bear for running back Edgerrin James and whether or not it might make it prohibitive to bring him back to Indianapolis. Polian explained that there are two different scenarios that could impact that market and the Colts' situation with James.

"If there is a (Collective Bargaining) Agreement, that's a whole different kettle of fish, because that means we have more money to spend, more years to prorate that money over, " he explained. "That's the best of all worlds."

Without an agreement, Polian noted that for all the NFL teams, "It makes it very difficult to do contracts commensurate with the talent of and accomplishments of the so-called three marquee backs that could potentially be out there.

"So if we have no agreement, my surmise is that the market will be smaller than you would otherwise anticipate. So that would make it a pretty good stituation for us."

And when will Polian begin shifting his attention to James?

"Reggie was priority one, Raheem was priority two," he said. "Now we turn to Edgerrin and David Thornton and see what we can do.

"We'll keep working right through the 3rd of March to make sure we don't leave any stone unturned. If there's a deal to be made that makes sense, we'll try to do it."

Polian also made a reference later in the press conference that raised some hope of James returning to the team. When asked about the team's short-yardage running attack heading into this seasons, he included this statement in his response: "Hopefully even Edgerrin will be back."

Polian mentioned that he would be talking to James' agent, Drew Rosenhaus this week to "try to see where he is and see where Edge is.

"Right now I'd say it's probably 50-50. But that's an uneducated guess because I haven't spoken with Drew."

The future of kicker Mike Vanderjagt, who will also become a free agent on March 3rd, is much more clear based on Polian's comments on Saturday. 

"Mike will be free and I think he'll probably elect to go somewhere else," he said. "We have plans along those lines. We figure it's an area that we'll have to fill."

But Polian didn't rule out that one of the kickers currently on the roster -- Dave Rayner, Shane Andrus, or Stephen Scaldaferri -- could fill that role.

"We might have that person on the roster. We'll see."

Shifting his focus to star defensive end Dwight Freeney, Polian explained that a new deal for him is not yet in the works.

"We need to know if there's going to be a CBA. That tells us how much we have to spend," he said. 

"He's clearly a priority, but his bakery ticket doesn't come up until after the draft," he said with a laugh. "We have to get through that period and understand what the landscape will be."

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